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Hurricane Beta Downgraded to Tropical Storm


Mudslides and flashflooding are feared as tropical storm Beta continues to dump rain on Nicaragua..

The storm made landfall in northeast Nicaragua at hurricane strength, lashing the country's Caribbean coast with heavy rain and 175 kilometers per hour wind.

Beta's sustained winds have weakened to 65 kilometers per hour. It is now located about 135 kilometers northwest of Bluefields, Nicaragua.

Forecasters say the storm could produce as much as 38 centimeters of rainfall in inland areas.

Before hitting Central America, Beta pounded the small Colombian-owned island of Providencia (200 kilometers off Nicaragua's east coast). Colombian officials say the storm caused considerable damage on the island but no fatalities.

Beta is the record-setting 23rd named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.

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